Winter always makes me think of soups and stews and roasts; warm hearty food to warm the belly. So  I was really happy when this fortnight’s feedbag box turned up with three juicy lamb shanks in it, as well as a bunch of really ripe tomatoes that needed using quickly, and a group of pungent, tasty, single clove garlic bulbs. Given the cold, windy, rainy weather outside, a warm, slowly baked roasty, casserole-y thing with lamb and potatoes and tomatoes, and plenty of tomatoes and garlic for a good, flavourful sauce sounded about perfect.

Single-clove garlic bulb

Bulbs of single clove garlic

I’m not sure if you’ve encountered single clove garlic before; you see it in fruit and veg shops sometimes, and they’ve had lovely bags of it at the markets for the last few weeks. The clove is much larger than a normal garlic clove, and slightly sweeter and less sharp. The main reason I like them is because they’re much faster and easier to peel than normal garlic. Yes, I’m lazy!

So, in my roasting I softened two chopped brown onions, from our box of many onions, with a diced carrot, a stick of celery, and some fresh sage, then added the lamb shanks to quickly brown. Once they had a little colour on them, I took them off the heat. Next I added some red wine (about two good slurps), six of the single garlic cloves with their skins removed, a couple of handfuls of green beans, some kipfler potatoes, chopped into rough chunks, and the chopped tomatoes.

Roast lamb shanks & veg - prep

Before going in the oven - looks tasty!

Then into the oven with it, for several slow hours of cooking, to make the house smell rich and warm – it did a very good job of it. I turned the shanks and the vegies a couple of times while they were cooking, but otherwise left it alone. This is the result.

All cooked

All cooked

Looks good, doesn’t it! It tasted even better. My partner M suggested I take a picture of the shanks and vegetables plated up and ready to eat, but by that stage I had a fork full of potatoes covered in tomatoey, winey juices in my mouth, and was too busy making happy food noises to get the camera out. I think my favourite thing about lamb shanks is their texture; the way they fall off the bone, but still retain the rich, gelatinous texture from the cartilage. And the garlic cloves were cooked to sweet, melty perfection, too. I could have taken a photo of the empty plates afterwards for you, but that would have just been mean.

Enjoy your cooking – and your food!